How do teams collaborate in the creation and maintenance of DITA indexes?

Collaboration among teams in the creation and maintenance of DITA indexes is a fundamental aspect of efficient content development and ensuring the index remains accurate and up to date. Effective collaboration involves writers, editors, and subject matter experts (SMEs) working together to produce a high-quality index.

The collaboration process can be summarized as follows:

  • Writers: Writers are responsible for identifying terms and concepts within DITA content that should be indexed. They provide the initial list of terms and their locations within the content.
  • Editors: Editors review the list of terms provided by writers and refine it. They ensure consistency in terminology and style. Editors also validate the relevance of each term to the content.
  • Subject Matter Experts (SMEs): SMEs play a critical role in verifying the accuracy and relevance of index entries. They confirm that technical terms and industry-specific terminology are correctly indexed.
  • Collaborative Tools: Teams often use collaborative tools and platforms for efficient communication and tracking of index-related tasks. These tools help coordinate efforts and manage the collaborative process.


Consider a scenario where a team is creating a DITA index for a healthcare documentation set. Writers identify terms like “patient records,” “medical procedures,” and “HIPAA compliance” within the content. Editors review this list, standardize the terminology, and ensure consistency. SMEs, who are healthcare experts, validate the index entries to ensure that they accurately represent healthcare-specific concepts and adhere to industry standards.

<!– Example of collaboration in DITA index creation –>

  <title>Healthcare Documentation Index</title>
    <primary>Patient Records</primary>
    <see>Electronic Health Records</see>
    <primary>Medical Procedures</primary>
    <see>Surgical Interventions</see>
    <primary>HIPAA Compliance</primary>
    <see>Privacy Regulations</see>

In this example, the collaborative effort between writers, editors, and SMEs ensures the accuracy, consistency, and relevance of index entries for healthcare documentation.